“And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
Two years into marriage, our relationship was in trouble. The honeymoon phase was over and reality had set in. We saw each other for who we truly were, not for who we thought we had married. The adage, “Love is blind, but marriage is an eye opener!” had come true for us. Neither of us liked what we saw.
During this season, kindness was one of the first virtues to leave our marriage. Our last name could have been changed from Smith to Bickerstaff! We bickered about everything. Rather than assuming the best about one another, we chose to assume the worst. “Why did she say that?” “Why did he look at me that way?” We assumed the worst.
The only way we were going to make it was to have a change of heart. Our hearts toward one another had become hardened. We began to pray for God to soften our hearts – and He did.
As our hearts became more soft and tender towards one another, it became easier to display simple acts of kindness. The kind intentions and softened hearts allowed us to forgive one another for the wounds we created. Kindness also created a safe place for both of us to admit our faults without fear of retribution or reprisal.
- Is there someone you’ve lost the ability to be kind to?
- Is your heart hardened towards someone?
- Is there someone you need to forgive?
- Have you had a fall-out with a friend or coworker?
If so, ask God to soften your heart. Ask Him to give you a heart of compassion towards that person. If you don’t want to do this, that’s a sign that you need to do this! Realize forgiveness is not so much for the other person as it is for you. Unforgiveness towards someone is like you drinking poison hoping the other person will die. Unforgiveness only poisons you. Forgive everyone everything.